December 19, 2013
277 pages; ebook
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It’s been nine months since the virus hit, killing almost everyone it touched. Seventeen-year-old Cora and her little brother, Coby, haven’t left home since. Not after the power cut out; not even after sirens faded in the distance and the world outside their backyard fence fell silent.
But when a blistering drought forces Cora to go in search of water, she discovers that the post-apocalyptic world isn’t as deserted as she thought when she meets Brooks, a drop-dead sexy army deserter.
Fighting their way back home, Cora finds her house ransacked and Coby missing – kidnapped by the military for dangerous medical experiments in the name of a cure. Brooks knows exactly where Cora can find her brother, except it’s a suicide mission. Cora doesn’t care. But Brooks can’t let her go…
Until We End is pretty much a must read for fans of In The After and/or The 5th Wave1. . The three stories have similar: teenage girl responsible for a younger sibling (or pseudo sibling) in a post-apocalyptic world. A girl who'll put that sibling ahead of anything, even if it means more danger for her.
Frankie Brown's Until We End is its own, unique and well crafted story, though. Cora and Coby's home is very well thought out and it's perfectly understandable that they've been there for nine months. Nine months where they haven't left home and, yet, are still surviving.
It also provides a great catalyst for Cora's departure and the events that set the rest of the story into motion.
The characters were well developed, Cora, especially. We learned a lot about her past which not only helped view her character better but understand her actions and the story, as well.
With the plot remaining very much focused on the present, I was left wanting more information on the virus that had brought about the End of the World As We Know It. It was understandable for the characters and their focus seated in the here and now, but it left questions. When? How? Etc. The nine month time frame was enough that it did work for the characters to not, quite, still be reeling from everything, to be more focused on surviving. It still left questions, curiosities.
Aside from the unanswered questions about the virus, I really loved Until We End. Cora is tough, but not to the point where she gets in her own way. She has a goal (getting to Coby) and recognizes that it may be to her own detriment, at least physically. She's smart and knows how to fight/defend herself. All of her choices may not, ultimately, be the best ones, but they're the best she knows to make at the time.
The flow and pacing of the novel was really great. You know something's coming when you should, but there are still a few surprises. Everything unfolds in a really nice way. I definitely enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to.
This was Frankie Brown's debut novel and I hope she has more to come -- possibly even more in the Until We End world.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my egalley for review
1I can't really mention these two books without a bit of squee of some sort. I adore them, muchly. If you haven't read them already, please do do. Immediately. (Along with Until We End.